Moeez Ahmed Khan
Moeez considers himself a bio-engineer. Having previously tinkered with bacteria at University College London he has now shifted his focus to the deadliest animal on the planet; mosquitoes. His research in the Luke Alphey lab focuses on genetically engineering the Indo-Pakistan malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi.
The Alphey lab’s mosquitoes are engineered to carry a system called a “gene drive”. Release of these gene-drive mosquitoes into the environment can genetically alter the entire A. stephensi species on a global scale. This power can be harnessed to either eradicate the mosquito population or remove its ability to transmit malaria, thereby saving millions of lives. Naturally, such a powerful technology raises a few concerns. How can nations divided by international boundaries implement a technology which has a global impact? What if a neighbouring country doesn’t want a genetically engineered mosquito in its environment?
Moeez’s research aims to overcome this challenge of international politics with a new technology…
Unlike a global gene drive, the spread of a daisy drive can be restricted to a specific geographical area, thereby solving the problem of global spread altogether!
Moeez also loves public engagement and science communication! He works part-time as lead content-developer for a Pakistan-based social enterprise called Science Fuse, which aims to get young Pakistani children interested in science! And when he isn’t doing science, Moeez loves talking about it! You can catch him talking to policy experts, environmental scientists, astronomers and science communicators via his online platform called Genes and Machines!